News: Festivals

Simm & Bailey Take Festival Titles

The top prizes in the Isle of Man September Bowls Festival went to two visitors.

In the Men’s competition it was John Bailey (Castlefields) who picked up his second September Festival following on from his 2017 victory taking the winners cheque for £3,000. Bailey had to overcome the challenge of Matty Worden (Broughton).

The final started with 2018 BCGBA Junior Champion Worden taking four of the first five ends to build a 12-6 lead on a shorter length. Bailey then took the next three ends favouring a longer length to sit one chalk behind at 11-12. Worden then scored a double and a single with Bailey taking a chalk in between for Worden to lead 15-13. Bailey then took control scoring five chalks in three ends to lead 18-15, only for a determined Worden to hit back once more to level the game at 18-18. With the final reaching a crucial point Worden led a good bowl approximately six inches from the jack, with Bailey responding by playing a front toucher which was not beaten. Bailey wisely chose not to play his second bowl with plenty of danger had he opted to play his bowl. With Bailey now leading 19-18 he played two good bowls to lie game. Worden played a reaching bowl to give himself a chance of saving game or playing a winner only to flick his first bowl onto one of Bailey’s bowls which connected with the jack but couldn’t prevent Bailey from taking the two chalks he needed to secure a 21-18 victory in a fantastic final.  Worden could take consolation in the runners up cheque for £1,000, with his reputation in the game growing with each performance.

Bailey reached the final courtesy of a comfortable 21-13 win over David Bradford (South Ramsey), whilst Worden booked his place in the final defeating the current holder John Kennish in a thrilling game with no more than three chalks between them throughout the entire game. With the score tied at 19-19 Worden played up to the crown and was lying one only for Kennish to play a great second bowl to lead 20-19. Kennish had no other option than to play into the corner from the middle of the green and led a bowl a foot past the jack, Worden played his first bowl slightly further away, with Kennish putting his second a foot short of the jack to leave Worden with no option other than to reach. Worden connected with Kennish’ short bowl which pushed it onto his first bowl to take both bowls out to secure chalks to secure a 21-20 victory with a bowl that was both brilliant and somewhat fortuitous. Kennish will have been cursing his luck and the handicap with having to give his opponent a two start due to his previous festival success.

The quarter finals had two games that were closely contested with Kennish seeing off Billy Speed (Alexander Park) with a hard fought 21-18 win. The closest game of the quarters was between Bradford and Callum Wraight (Castlefields) with Wraight still searching for his first festival title despite having won some of the biggest titles in the UK. Bradford fought back from a 10-14 deficit, and a 17-20 deficit, however Bradford had to rely on his striking ability to pull him through by taking the jack off three times in the final six ends to stay in the game, taking two doubles in between another dead end to secure a 21-20 victory. In the other two quarter finals Bailey ended the challenge of James Higgins (Meersbrook) with a 21-15 win, whilst Worden progressed thanks to a 21-10 win over Craig Richardson (Castlefields).

In the Ladies main event it was Gill Simm (Lune Road) who went one better than last year to win the Ladies title and the cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-20 win over Molly Sullivan (St Georges). Simm was quickest out of the blocks taking the lead 11-7, before Sullivan took the next four ends to lead 13-11. It was nip and tuck from there, however Simm did manage to edge 19-18 ahead and was lying two for game with Sullivan getting a huge slice of luck sitting out her opponent’s furthest bowl to save game. On the next end Sullivan took a double to tie the score at 20-20, with Simm starting to wonder if she would suffer the same fate as last year. On the final end the left handed Sullivan perhaps trying to catch out her opponent played off the edge of the crown, however was unable to put up a good lead which Simm punished to play a good bowl. Sullivan was unable to beat the bowl of Simm, which ensured Simm picked up a chalk to secure a 21-20 victory in what was a great final.

In the semi-finals Simm booked her place in the final with a hard fought 21-19 win over Sharon Gadd (Shipley), whilst Sullivan took a straightforward 21-14 over Jenny Moore (South Ramsey).

Simm started her day with a 21-15 win over Mary Alderson (Marown), whilst Gadd took a 21-19 victory over Carleen Doody-Millington (St Georges). Moore defeated Alison Cotton (St Georges) 21-14, whilst Sullivan ended the challenge of Fiona Kennish (South Ramsey) with a 21-12 win.

Local awards went to John Kennish who received the Chris Quayle trophy for the furthest Manx Man, whilst Jenny Moore received the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the furthest Manx Lady.

The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1, and it was Matt Gilmore (Wallasey) who performed well to see off Callum Wraight (Castlefields) to take the Tourism title with a 21-14 win, with it has to be noted Wraight not enjoying his usual success when striking.

Both semi-finals were well contested with Gilmore booking his place in the final with a hard fought 21-18 win over Ben Phillips (Lloyd Hotel), whilst Wraight had to dig deep to see off Stuart Mort (Kirkham) 21-19.

The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green it was local success for Lyn Bolton (South Ramsey) who had a successful week taking a 21-14 victory over Alison Cotton (St Georges) in the final.

Bolton booked her placed in the final with a superb 21-12 win over Sarah Fox (Woodlands Park), whilst Cotton ended the challenge of Tracy Ryan (St Georges) with a 21-11 win.

The Men’s consolation was won by Martin Gilpin (Kendal Victoria) who beat Gaz Lally (Crossgates) 21-11. The Ladies consolation was won by Veronica Lyon (Unison) defeating Lynn Bennett (Orrell Rovers) 21-16.

The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Robert Whyatt (Packhouse) who had a 9-2 win over David Jackson (Knutsford), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Wayne Usher (Gaghills) who beat Peter Shallis (Lune Road) 21-20 in another close final.

In the doubles competitions the open doubles was won by the Kendal Victoria pairing Martin Gilpin and Ian Nicholson with a 11-10 win over Crossgates duo Joseph Cranston and Gaz Lally.

The Men’s doubles was won by Alan Davis (St Bernards) and David Platt (Levens) defeating Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) and Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 11-7 in the final.

The Ladies pairs was won by Elaine Moore (South Ramsey) Amanda Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) defeating Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood) and Sharon Gadd (Shipley) 11-6 in the final.

The Mixed pairs was won by Andy Mailer (Meersbrook BC) and Grace Hubbert (Stalmine BC) defeating Frank Jolly (Canberra) and Joan Moran (James North’s) 9-8.

Manx Ladies Shine at Festival

The September Bowls Festival, which was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, has once again completed another successful week, with entries up and Manx ladies putting up a good showing.

Although the weather was “iffy” at times with rain showers and strong winds, it did not detract from the players enthusiasm or their standard of bowling.

The finals started on Thursday morning, when the Tourism competitions were played to a conclusion from the quarter-finals. Jenny Moore went out at that stage to Alison Cotton (St Georges ) 21 – 15.  In the final Lyn Bolton had the better start against Alison Cotton . She was able to hold on against a come-back mid game from Alison to take the trophy 21-14. This win means that Lyn has qualified to play in the Champion of Champions at Waterloo at the end of September.

They continued in the evening with the doubles events. In the Open Doubles the Manx pairing of Jenny Moore and James Teare lost out in the semi-finals, 11-2, to Joe Cranston and Gaz Lally (Crossgates).

Elaine Moore, paired with Amanda Nicholas ( Gresford Colliery ), reached the final of the ladies’ doubles  against Angela Gaut (Wrockwardine Wood) and Sharon Gadd (Shipley). Despite their opponents taking an early 6-2 lead, Elaine and Amanda then dug in, denying their opponents further points and taking the match 11-6.

On Friday, Janet Monk was the only lady in the final four of the visit iom.com Flyer, going out at that stage to David Jackson Knutsford) 9 – 4

In the main event, three Manx ladies made it through to the quarter-finals, Mary Alderson, Fiona Kennish and Jenny Moore.

Mary and Fiona came up against the eventual finalists, Mary going down 21 – 15 to Gill Simm (Lune Rd ) and Fiona losing out 21- 12 to Molly Sullivan ( St Georges ). Jenny got her revenge on Alison Cotton, winning 21-14 to go through to the semi-finals, where she went down 21 – 14 to Molly. This meant that Jenny won the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the Manx lady getting furthest in the main event.

The final was evenly contested, the score being level at 7-7, 11-11, 14-14 with Gill not being behind after the fourth end until at 16-16 Molly won two ends in a row to lead 18-16. Gill then led 20-18 before a 2 from Molly made it 20-20. Gill, who had lost out in the final last year, was not to be denied, winning the last end and the trophy.

June Festival Preview

The eagerly awaited Isle of Man June Festival takes place the week commencing 17th June with a good entry of over 314 in the Men’s competition.

On the first page of the draw Andy Duckett (Crossgates) will be hoping to go far in the competition, he takes on the bookmaker Graham Hirst in the first round. Local man Geoff Collier (South Ramsey) who only took up the game last year has the unenviable task of taking on Ben Gloag (Grapes Hotel) for his first time competing in the festival, whilst 2017 winner James Wilcox (Crossgates) will be looking to go far with some tricky fixtures along the way.

On the second page Callum Wraight (Castlefields) will once again be one of the hot favourites to take the title and his first festival win, having won the majority of the games biggest prizes and ended his week last June on a high winning the PokerStars Invitation at South Ramsey. Should Matthew Quirk (Onchan) make it through his first game he could well face Wraight in the second round, whilst Gareth Herbert (George BC) has a tough game against Joshua Mordue (Crossgates). Ian Hazlehurst has once again been handed a tough first round game taking on the ‘Hoover’ Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge).

On page three another regular visitor Mark Hughes (Crossgates) will be hoping to break his duck in the main event with several of his team mates having taken the trophy over the past few years, whilst 1998 winner David Jackson (Knutsford) will be keen to take his second June title. Current holder Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) starts three points back due to his 2018 win and will need to make a good start in his games to ensure he doesn’t fall too far behind. Mel Byron (Duki Central) takes on local man Steve Parker (North Ramsey).

On the next page Gaz Lally (Crossgates) takes on Craig Shore (Burbage) in the first round, with local player David Bradford keen to reach the latter stages of the June festival having won the September title at the tender age of 17, however should he get through his first round game Bradford could have to face the likes of Barry Booth (Kendal Vic) and Ryan Clark (Thongsbridge) if he is to progress.

On page five Nick White (Thongsbridge) will fancy his chances of getting through the top half of his page, whilst Kevan Shaw (West Houghton) will be favourite to make the latter stages in the bottom half of the page, however Phil Kerruish (Onchan) may well be one of his opponents who will be confident of performing well against Shaw.

Looking at page six Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) will once again be looking to reach the latter stages of the festival, will have to beat the likes of Nidge Hughes (Wirral) & Billy Speed (Castlefields) to make it to finals day on Friday.

Over to page seven September 2018 festival winner John Kennish (South Ramsey) is another man to start three points back on his opponents due to his recent success in the festival, will be hoping to find some form to take him through the week. A man in form is Paul Dunn (Marown) who is unbeaten in the league this season, having switched bowls over the winter Dunn will be hoping this is his year. A game everyone will want to watch is two of the games top players with both having won a number of the top competitions, John Bailey (Castlefields) could take on Chris Mordue (Pudsey) on Wednesday morning.

On page eight regular visitor to the Island Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) won’t be missed on the green with his yellow bowls. Another local in form is Jordan Cain (Onchan), who could face one of the games entertainers Michael Leach (Kirkham) who is fascinating to watch on the green, whilst 2012 winner Rob Fitzpatrick (Wirral) could face Andy Mailer (Thongsbridge) or Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic) with Nicholson somewhat unbelievably having never won a June Festival with all his festival wins coming in September. Dan Jones (Castlefields) will be keen on making good progress having not visited the Island for a couple of years.

On page 9 it has been 19 years since local man Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (Peel) took his only festival win beating Kev Shaw back in the ‘good old days’ when the finals used to be held on the Villa, whilst Craig Gant (Thongsbridge) could have a tasty second round game against Richie Goddard (Castlefields).

On the final page 2013 winner Neil Withers be looking to progress having recently lost in the final of the Big Smash, whilst Andrew Sorsby (Thongsbridge) could face off against Matthew Kelly-Walley (Stretton Anglesey) in the second round. 2016 June winner and recent Big Smash winner Kez Smith (Crossgates) could face big hitter Paul Bailey (Meersbrook), whilst another big hitter Chris Barton (Wirral) will be hoping for a good week.

Whilst I can’t guarantee the weather what should shine through, however, is the quality of the field and the week of bowls we have in store for us, with the Tourism, Men’s Doubles, Open Doubles, various flyers and consolation competitions there is plenty of bowls to be played & enjoyed for all.

Best of luck to all visitors and locals who are taking part throughout the week.

PokerStars Super 32

Friday evening sees some of the games top players taking part in the PokerStars Super 32 Invitation with the event being held at Noble’s Park it is sure to attract a good crowd on the night.

Last year’s winner Callum Wraight will be hoping to successfully defend his title, whilst Yorkshire man Chris Mordue won the British Senior Merit in 2018. There are too many winners of big competitions to call out, however the line-up includes Isle of Man festival, County Merit, British Senior Merit, Champion of Champions and Spring and Autumn Waterloo winners along with the winners of a host of big competitions held on the mainland to prove what a top field this is.

Six local men have been given the opportunity to compete this year with David Bradford (South Ramsey), Jordan Cain (Onchan), Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly (Peel) and three Marown men taking part with Manx Champion Colin Kelly, Neil Withers and Paul Dunn all looking to cause an upset to the big guns.

A number of big hitters are taking part with Chris Barton, Paul Bailey and Wraight all capable of fireworks on the green with their renowned striking ability.

Whilst I would not like to predict a winner of this, what I can promise is a night of great entertainment that will be a fitting end to a week of bowls which is running morning, noon and night!

Line-up:

  1. Billy Speed
  2. Kev Shaw
  3. Chris Barton
  4. Nidge Hughes
  5. Peter Jones
  6. Robby Fitzpatrick
  7. Dave Jackson
  8. Ian Nicholson
  9. Martin Gilpin
  10. Melvyn Byron
  11. Callum Wraight
  12. Jon Palmer
  13. Richie Goddard
  14. Andy Sorsby
  15. Nick White
  16. Paul Bailey
  17. Gareth Herbert
  18. Stewart Meddings
  19. Dan Jones
  20. John Bailey
  21. Chris Mordue
  22. Craig Gant
  23. Jack Dyson
  24. James Wilcox
  25. Joshua Mordue
  26. Colin Kelly
  27. Dave ‘Barney’ Kelly
  28. David Bradford
  29. Jordan Cain
  30. Neil Withers
  31. Paul Dunn
  32. TBC

Prize money is over £3k, paid out as follows:-

Winner – £1,000

Runner Up – £500

Semi-Finals – 2 @ £250

Quarter Finals – 4 @ £125

Last 16 – 8 @ £75

The final spot available will be confirmed during festival week, the draw will also be made and announced next week.

Moore & Kennish Take Top Titles

The top prizes in the Isle of Man September Bowls Festival went to two local players.

In the Men’s competition it was South Ramsey’s John Kennish who picked up his fourth September Festival win and the winners cheque for £3,000. Kennish had to overcome the challenge of Onchan man Peter Slinger in a repeat of the 2017 Manx Championship on the same green, this was also the first all local final since September 2014 between John Kennish and Dave ‘Dido’ Kelly.

The final started with Slinger taking a single point on the first end after trailing the jack with his last bowl. The second end proved to be crucial and was probably a first for a festival final with Slinger heading for the corner the jack went off the green, allowing Kennish the opportunity to set the mark, to which Kennish then headed for the edge also sending the jack off, allowing Slinger a second chance to set the mark again in the corner however the jack went off the green once again. Kennish didn’t waste the second opportunity of setting the mark along the edge. From there Kennish was ruthless wasting little more than 20 minutes to win the game picking up five two’s and five one’s along the way. To be fair to Slinger he was never far away with his bowls just pegging away at the end or falling just short or running out, it is more a reflection of how devastating Kennish was on the day. Slinger could take consolation in the runners up cheque for £1,000.

Kennish reached the final courtesy of a 21-13 win over David Jackson (Knutsford), whilst Slinger booked his place in the final defeating Callum Wraight (Knutsford) in a thrilling game coming back from 6-12 down, then 13-17 down before Slinger got level at 17-17. Slinger headed for the corner and played two poor bowls, which Wraight wasn’t able to punish fully taking just a point to go 18-17 up. Slinger picked up a single on the next end up to the crown to level matters again, then lay one next end with Wraight contemplating striking which was risky given how close his own bowl was to the one he was hoping to take out. Wraight struck taking out his own bowl to gift Slinger two to go 20-18 up. Slinger headed along the edge on a straight peg which is well known to be a push to reach into, he led a good bowl with Wraight pushing two yards through. Crucially Slinger made two with Wraight playing through taking out Slinger’s nearest bowl, however Slinger’s other bowl was left counting for game to win 21-18.

The quarter finals were all fairly straightforward with Kennish seeing off Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) with a 21-10 win. The closest game of the quarters was between John Bailey (Knutsford) and David Jackson, with Jackson falling 7-10 behind early on, before taking a 17-11 lead and eventually seeing the game out 21-17. Wraight ended the challenge of Danny Petcher (Netherseal) with a 21-12 win. Slinger booked his place in the semi-final courtesy of a 21-14 win over Gareth Jones (Dalton Cricket).

There is always that one game in a festival that makes or breaks you and that came for Kennish on the Thursday afternoon against another local Trevor Quayle (Port St Mary) in the last 16 with Kennish edging it 21-20 with Quayle leading for the entire game and having a good opportunity on the last end to win it. Kennish has now won five Isle of Man festival titles, with one June win and four September wins it is surely only a question of when, not if he will pick up his next title. John will also be playing in the Champion of Champions at Blackpool at the end of the month, an event that he had already qualified for through winning the Manx Championship earlier in the season.

In the Ladies main competition it was another South Ramsey player Elaine Moore who won the Ladies title and the cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-18 win over Gill Simm (Lune Road) with Simm being quickest out of the blocks taking a 14-8 lead with Moore working her way back into the game to go 17-16 ahead slightly varying the length being played. Simm took two singles on the next two ends to take the lead 18-17. Moore dug in to take two singles and a two on the last end playing over the crown to win her first festival and the relief and emotion was clear for everyone to see.

In the semi-finals Simm booked her place in the final with a 21-10 win over Helen Clee (Wrockwardine Wood), whilst Moore was pushed all the way by daughter Jenny Moore (South Ramsey) with Elaine fighting back from 12-18 down to eventually win 21-20 after lying two down at 20-20 Elaine trailed the jack with a brilliant bowl to reach the final.

Gill Simm started her day with a 21-16 win over Veronica Lyon (Unison), whilst Helen Clee ended the challenge of Alison Cotton with a hard fought 21-17 win. Jenny Moore made light work of her quarter final game with a 21-11 win over Margo Sinclare (Meersbrook BC) whilst Elaine Moore had to battle hard to see off Tracy Ryan (Meole Brace BC) with a 21-18 win having lost to Ryan in the semi-finals of the Tourism on Thursday morning.

Elaine certainly won her first festival the hard way with her games from the quarter finals onwards all being close, and having to play two of the favourites on the way against her daughter Jenny Moore and Tracy Ryan, no doubt Elaine was made all the more determined having suffered the heartache of losing out in the final of the June festival to Debbie Farmer on a particularly wet finals day several years ago. Elaine has also qualified to play in the Champion of Champions at the Waterloo Hotel in Blackpool.

Following their festival wins John Kennish received the Chris Quayle trophy for the furthest Manx Man, whilst Elaine Moore received the Blanche Kaye Trophy for the furthest Manx Lady.

The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1 with Colin Kelly (Marown) performing brilliantly in the corners to take the Tourism title defeating Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) 21-11.

Kelly booked his place in the final with a hard fought win over Callum Wraight (Knutsford), whilst Ditchfield defeated Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel).

The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green it was Tracy Ryan (Meole Brace) who defeated Helen Martin (North Ramsey) 21-13 in the final.

Tracy Ryan booked her place in the final following a tough game with Elaine Moore (South Ramsey), whilst Helen Martin ended the run of Lynn Bennett (Orrell Rovers).

The Men’s consolation was won by Chris Talbot (Knutsford) who beat Robert Whyatt (Packhorse BC) 21-9. The Ladies consolation was won by Hazel Borrowdale (Kendal Vic) defeating Olwen Edwards (Llanfair PG) 21-20 in a close final.

The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Paul Beer (Meole Brace) who had a 9-6 win over Callum Wraight (Knutsford), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Neil Rigden (New Longton) who beat John Clark (Wrockwardine Wood) 21-19 in another close final.

In the doubles competitions the Open Doubles was won by Peter Yates (Kirkham) and Steve McCall (Kirkham) with a 11-5 win over Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) and Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic).

The Men’s doubles was won by Walter McCarthy (Marown) and David Jackson (Knutsford) defeating Paul Bailey (Meersbrook BC) and Frank Jolly (Canberra) 11-6 in an entertaining final.

The Ladies pairs was won convincingly 11-1 by Jenny Moore (South Ramsey) and Carleen Doody-Millington (Meole Brace) who beat Sylvia Bentham (Tarleton) and Joan Jolly (Canberra).

The Mixed pairs was won by Patricia Edwards (Winstanley) and Michael Coupe (Hoghton) defeating Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) and Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 9-4.

September Festival Preview

September Festival Preview

The Isle of Man September Bowling Festival takes place this week with a host of top names from across the game hoping to be the one that gets their name on the trophy and the winners cheque for £3,000.

It’s seems like an awful long time since South Ramsey’s John Kennish won back to back Festivals in September 2014 and then June 2015, however it is the first festival since then that Kennish has not had to give his opponents a start due to his previous successes.

Wayne Ditchfield (Kirkham) makes his first visit to the Island since becoming a father, will be looking to pick up his first festival since 2010, whilst Craig Gant (Thongsbridge) could face Ditchfield in the second round, however with Gant having to give his opponents a two start this could make it more difficult to progress.

2012 winner Dave Phillips (Lloyd Hotel) is another one who will be hoping to get his name on the trophy for a second time, whilst 2017 winner John Bailey (Knutsford) will be looking to retain the trophy he won for the first time last year after years of trying.

On the same page as Bailey is three time winner Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic) with a potential fourth round clash.

June festival winner Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) will be hoping for back to back festival wins, having last won the September title in 1999 when he beat Norman Fletcher (Blackpool) in the final.

Another regular visitor to the Island Callum Wraight (Knutsford) will be hoping to secure his first festival win having won most of the games biggest prizes, this is one he will be keen to tick off his list.

With six greens in use and nine different competitions throughout the week there is plenty of bowls for everyone and with the weather looking good it should make for a great week of bowls.

Have a great week!

Cumbria Duo Take Top Prizes

The top prizes in the Isle of Man June Bowls Festival went to two Cumbria players.

In the Men’s competition it was Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) from Cumbria who picked up his first June Festival win and the winners cheque for £3,000. Gilpin had to overcome the challenge of Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) in a thrilling final on a tricky green. Kelly was quickest out of the blocks taking a 13-6 lead, then 16-9 and 17-13. From there Gilpin chipped away at the lead to draw level with his opponent. At 19-19 Gilpin sent the jack out which was less than a yard from the edge, however he was unable to keep his first bowl on the green. Kelly played a yard short bowl which Gilpin was unable to beat with his second, and Kelly missed the opportunity to make two for game. At 20-19 up Kelly led a bowl two foot to the side of the jack with Gilpin putting one a similar distance the other side of the jack. Kelly made sure he was counting by glancing the jack towards his side bowl to lie two and within touching distance of his first Festival win. Gilpin had other ideas, ensuring he reached to sit on Kelly’s back bowl to count one to leave the score tied at 20-20. Gilpin headed for a longer length mark and left his bowl just under a yard away, which Kelly was unable to beat which gave Gilpin the title. Kelly had the blow softened receiving a cheque for £1,000.

Gilpin reached the final courtesy of a 21-10 win over Colin Price (Dukinfield Central), whilst Kelly booked his place in the final defeating Thongsbridge team mate Craig Gant 21-9.

All the quarter finals in the Men’s tournament were the closest games I can recall with Onchan’s Matthew Quirk losing 19-21 to Price. Quirk received the George Craine trophy for the furthest Manxman. Phil Lee (Wallasey) just lost out 20-21 to Gilpin, whilst Gant ended the challenge of Nigel Briggs (Brighouse) 21-19. Finishing off the close games Kelly played another Thongsbridge team mate Jack Dyson with this also going to the wire with Kelly winning 21-19.

In the Ladies main competition it was another player from Cumbria Angela Athersmith (Ulverston Cons) who won the Ladies title and a cheque for £1,000 with a hard fought 21-19 win over Caroline Hall (Cleveleys WM) with the final being nip and tuck all the way through with neither player able to take control of the game. Hall received a cheque for £600 as runner up.

The semi-finals were close with Hall defeating Rachel Quirk (Crossgates) 21-17 to reach the final, whilst Athersmith was pushed harder by Diane Harrison (Lune Road) 21-19.

Furthest local player reaching the quarter finals was South Ramsey’s Elaine Moore who received the Visit IOM.com trophy. Moore’s challenge was ended by Hall 13-21. Joyce Foxcroft (Lune Road) lost 10-21 to Quirk, whilst one of the favourites Sarah Fox (Woodlands) lost 20-21 to Harrison. Karen Hill (Ossett Flying Horse) lost 10-21 to Athersmith.

The Men’s Tourism was played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 1 with James Wilcox (Crossgates) following up on his June Festival win in 2017 with the Tourism title defeating Callum Wraight (Castlefields) 21-18 in an entertaining final.

Losing semi-finalists were Phil Lee 18-21 (Wallasey) to Wilcox, whilst Paul Bailey (Meersbrook) lost out 12-21 to Wraight.

The Ladies Tourism was also played down to the winner on Thursday morning on Noble’s 2 green with another entertaining final it was Sarah Fox (Woodlands) who held her nerve to bowl a winner at 20-20 which after being measured in this was enough to earn the Tourism title with a 21-20 win over Jackie Butterworth (Knutsford BC).

Fox earned her place in the final following a hard fought 21-20 semi-final win over Debbie Leece (Noble’s) after coming back from 16-20 down. In the other semi-final Butterworth had a comfortable 21-10 win over Mary Alderson (Marown) to book her place in the final.

The Men’s consolation was won by Melvyn Byron (Marton Institute) who beat Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) 21-17 in a close final. The Ladies consolation was won by a regular visitor to the Island with Joyce Jones (Syke BC) defeating Amanda Nicholson (Gresford Colliery) 21-16.

The Visit.Com Flyer title went to Callum Wraight (Castlefields) who had a 9-3 win over Martyn Watkin (Cortonwood), whilst the Last Chance Mixed Final was won by Matt Gilmore (Wallasey) who beat Craig Ramell (Rishton) 21-15.

In the doubles competitions the Open Doubles was won by Joshua Mordue (Pudsey) and Joseph Cranston (Crossgates) with a 11-8 win over Conor Chamberlain (Stretton Anglesey) and Stevie Kelly (Peel Sunset) in a close final.

The Men’s doubles was won by Joseph Cranston (Crossgates) and David Gwilliam (Nursery Inn) who beat Alex Power (Bar Lane) and Dean Butler (Rishton) 11-6 in the final.

The Ladies pairs was won 11-8 by Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) and Shelley Kennish (South Ramsey) who beat Alexis Lunn-Gadd (Ossett Flying Horse) and Diane Harrison (Lune Road)

The Mixed pairs had local representation with Edward Carlyle (Onchan) and Sharon Ridgen (Penwortham Sports) just losing out 7-9 to Lee Longland (Rishton) and Sarah Edmondson (Rishton).

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June Festival Preview

The eagerly awaited Isle of Man June Festival takes place the week commencing 18th June with a good entry of over 340 in the Men’s competition.

On the first page of the draw former festival winner Gaz Lally (Crossgates) takes on Stewart Meddings (Royal Oak BC) in what should be a good game with both having expectations to go far in the competition. Former finalist Carl Fielding (Bradford Arms) will also be looking to make it to the latter stages, whilst Matthew Kelly-Walley (Stratton Anglesey) could face Billy Speed (Castlefields) in the second round. Local player and another former festival winner David Bradford will be looking to pick up his second title and first June win.

On the second page Ryan Clark (Thongsbridge) takes on Ian Sherbrooke (Wallasey) in the first round. Also on this page are current title holder James Wilcox (Crossgates) who starts off a handicap of two and Chris Mordue (Brighouse) who will be hoping to make it a memorable week.

On page three Joshua Mordue (Pudsey) will also be looking to have a good run, whilst regular visitor and serial winner Ian Nicholson (Kendal Vic) will be confident of another victory on Manx soil (or grass!) Another former winner Marown man Colin Kelly could well face Phil Lee (Wallasey) in what could be an entertaining game.

On the next page Andrew Spragg (Eastwood Park) will take on local Stevie Kelly (Peel) who will be looking to take a good scalp in his first game. If Martin Gilpin (Kendal Vic) and Nick White are able to navigate their way through their first game they could face each other in the second round. South Ramsey’s John Kennish the Islands most decorated player has his handicap back up to four, having been as low as scratch thanks to his September 2014 win, which was followed up in style with his June 2015 win despite giving most of his opponents a three start. Kennish will be confident of reaching the latter stages and would be a strong tip to make finals day.

On page five two players jump out with Richie Goddard (Castlefields) on the top half of the page and last year’s runner up Craig Gant (Thongsbridge) in the bottom half. Both players would need to win four games to face each other and if the festival has taught me anything it is that there is always plenty of shocks throughout the week, so neither player will be counting their chickens.

Looking at page six Andrew Duckett (Castlefields) will be hoping to have a good run with Brian Smith (Stratton Anglesey) standing firmly in his way with a potential second round face off.

Over to page seven and Nigel Hughes (Wirral) could face Conor Chamberlain (Stretton Anglesey) as early as Wednesday afternoon in the third round, whilst Kevan Shaw (Westhoughton RC) could play Carl Armitage (St Oswalds) in his second game with the winner potentially taking on Rob Fitzpatrick (Wallasey) in the next round.

On page eight Paul Morgan (Woodlands Park) winner of the September Festival in 1998 makes his long awaited return to the Island and faces Tommy King (Marton) who knows the Islands greens well with both players hoping to be on top of their game to ensure they make it through to the second round. Onchan man Kevin Quirk is finding form at the right time and will be hoping to pick up his first title after having gone close in previous years. Paul Bailey (Meersbrook) takes on Ian Hazlehurst (Wallasey) in his first round game, whilst Andrew Sorsby (Thongsbridge) will be keen to progress to the latter stages.

On page nine Marown captain Paul Dunn will be looking to take his league form into the festival, however he could have the tricky task of facing Kevin Nicholas (Gresford Colliery) in his second game. Chris Kelly (Thongsbridge) could have dodged a bullet in his second game with Danny Barwise (Wallasey) now rumoured to be unable to make it to the Island due to work commitments.

Page ten, this is littered with previous winners. Matt Gilmore (Wallasey) is the first of these and he could face Ben Gloag (Nursery Inn) in his third game which could make for great viewing, whilst Kez Smith (Crossgates) another former winner could face Jon Palmer (Castlefields) in his second game in what could be a fascinating battle. Jon Guess (Fairfield) could face Smith or Palmer in the next round should he find his way through two games. Neil Withers (Marown) is another of a handful of local players to have lifted the trophy and could face another former winner Alan Gilpin (Kendal Vic) in his third game, whilst Alan Belcher (Dukki Central) will be hoping to surpass his previous best in the competition to secure his first festival title.

On the final page Callum Wraight (Castlefields) is another regular visitor to the Island and will know full well that whilst it appears his half of the page is favourable, he will need to ensure he wins those games to make the eagerly anticipated Thursday afternoon, which never fails to throw out some classic encounters. Wraight will be a big favourite to reach the latter stages. On the other half of the page Jack Dyson (Thongsbridge) could face David Jackson (Knutsford) in Wednesday afternoon, whilst Mark Hughes (Crossgates) will be hoping to secure his first festival win having gone close previously.

Whilst I can’t guarantee the weather what should shine through, however, is the quality of the field and the week of bowls we have in store for us, with the Tourism, Men’s Doubles, Open Doubles, various flyers and consolation competitions there is plenty of bowls to be played & enjoyed for all.

Best of luck to all visitors and locals who are taking part throughout the week.